When the Ghosted Become the Ghostees…

For many years, candidates being ghosted by hiring managers has been a much talked about topic. But with the pandemic driving a candidate led market, it appears that the tide is now turning, and it is recruiters and hiring managers that are on the receiving end of the deathly wall of silent communication that is ghosting.

How do we Know That Candidates are Ghosting Hiring Managers?

We started to hear whispers from hiring managers about this ‘ghosting’ some months ago. Previously keen and engaged candidates were just shutting down all routes of communication with HR and Recruiters and had disengaged from the recruitment process. To test the waters, we held a poll on LinkedIn to see if this was becoming an issue across all sectors around the UK and it would appear that it is.

We asked the question: “Hiring managers and recruiters, are you being ghosted by candidates?”. 64% responded that they were indeed being stonewalled by candidates and just 36% did not feel that this was their experience.

ghosting linkedin poll results

So Why are Candidates Ghosting Hiring Managers?

The battle for jobs has eased and since the UK opened up following the 2021 lockdown, job vacancies have been at their highest levels for decades. The pandemic and to a lesser extent, Brexit, have narrowed the talent pool as companies battle for skilled staff and the furlough scheme meant that redundancies were not as abundant as was thought. This perfect storm of conditions has led to a candidate-driven market where demand is outstripping supply and candidates are writing their paycheques.

When candidates are offered numerous opportunities, it can be hard to know how to manage the job offers or interview processes that you need to walk away from, and for some candidates, it appears that blanking hiring managers is the preferred method of dealing with this slightly awkward position. Whilst the candidate may be thinking that this is no skin off their nose as they have the job they wanted, they could be walking on thin ice when it comes to their future careers.

What are the Dangers to Candidates who are Ghosting Hiring Managers Today?

HR is a transient role that can be applied in any industry sector. Although aspects of an HR manager’s role are unique to the business they work for, the general skills are not and can be applied to any organisation in any industry sector. This means that HR people ‘move about’ and you never know whether the hiring manager you ghosted today could pop up in your interview process further down your career line.

Similarly, Recruitment Consultancies may blacklist you as a candidate and if the dream job you want further down the line is listed with them, you will find yourself left out in the cold when it comes to getting your CV in front of the hiring manager.

Whilst it can be hard to have the awkward conversations you need to have to walk away from a job offer or interview process, it could pay dividends for you in the future. Managing these tough conversations is a vital soft skill that anyone will need to drive their career forward and demonstrating these skills at every step of the job process will make you a great candidate, both today, tomorrow, and well into the future. After all, a career is for life, not just for Christmas…